The world is in lockdown and, with nobody sure how long the pandemic (and its after effects) will last, the need for businesses to have a strong online presence is more important than ever before. Companies who have ‘made do’ with an old website, weakly dabbled with social media and never before considered digital marketing really need to up their game to stand a chance of surviving in this all-new online world.
And, now that more people are used to living online lives, they will expect to be able to do so in the future. The customers are out there – is your business in position to reach them?
One thing is certain. Businesses need customers! Ideally loyal ones, who spend more and recommend others.
The fundamentals of marketing have not changed since time began. Marketing is all about satisfying customer needs profitably.
And in order to satisfy customer needs, businesses need to know what those needs are and they need to establish the best ways to reach out to find more good customers.
This is what has changed.
The traditional forms of marketing, including print, broadcast and direct mailing, have been joined by a wealth of digital media. Digital marketing is more personal, interactive and measurable than traditional marketing, it can also offer a far better return on investment – and there are more opportunities at every stage of the marketing funnel.
What’s more, traditional and digital marketing can work very well hand-in-hand as an integrated marketing experience, reaching customers throughout their buying journey.
The process to get more customers will normally include spending some money – call it investing for the future. It can take some time, along several stages and requires expertise. There are five stages to a buyer’s journey:
STAGES 1 and 2: Awareness and Interest
These stages are driven by discovery, where the consumer slowly becomes aware of their problem and the potential solutions.
Traditionally businesses may have reached for newspaper and magazine ads, posters and on-air advertising, all of which entailed significant costs and were difficult to measure.
Digital marketing provides businesses with content marketing, display ads, video ads and social media marketing. These are far more cost-effective, measurable, able to target specific segments and can easily be increased or decreased as required.
STAGES 3 and 4: Consideration and Conversion
Here the consumer is more focused, they know the available solutions and are wondering which to choose by looking for additional information.
Traditional marketing at this stage included direct mailing, some of which may have reached people considering and ready to purchase. There is still a place for this – particularly when well executed and integrated with digital marketing methods.
With paid search and search engine optimisation, people actively searching online will see your business and what it can offer. It is also possible to use display ads to target people who visit your website but don’t get in touch.
Once you have direct contact with ‘prospects’ you can communicate with them directly and personally by email and telephone.
STAGE 5: Retention
This is all about developing and nurturing the relationship with your customers to create loyalty. Email marketing is a great tool at this stage, enabling you to delight your customers with after care advice, information and additional value.
The biggest challenge to business are stages 1-3, the stages before you make the sale. These stages can take considerable effort, which is why we refer frequently to the Rule of Seven. The good news is that in this digital age the cost of reaching more people has become a lot more palatable.
At the core of digital marketing there are three principles. Firstly it is all about the customer. Secondly, digital marketing should be tweaked regularly in response to user interaction. And finally it is about integrating a variety of channels to drive the best outcome.
And, it is more important than ever to have a marketing plan. To know your objectives, your strategies, your target market, your actions and how you will measure them.
Fortunately we’re here to help! From the initial brainstorm and branding validation, through the marketing planning process, identifying your buyer’s journey and pain points, setting up and implementing your marketing, then measuring and reviewing tactics.
Get in touch for help with digital marketing!
Contact us today and we can start helping you find new customers! Call Tanya on 07989 552419 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chat about your requirements.